Why We Don't Offer Labor Only

If you’ve got a friend who’s in the business and willing to hook you up with discounted materials, it will be very tempting to purchase everything yourself and try to find a labor only contractor.  We sometimes offer our material discount to our own family and close friends and let if they are okay dealing with checking the order and using their own installers for the labor.  The allure of this is very appealing as it doesn’t seem “that hard” to find a reputable contractor who can handle all the construction for you.

Unfortunately, finding a “labor only” contractor to manage a renovation that also has a design and customer service team is quite the feat as contractors who have a service department setup typically provide their own materials.  When clients want the “Mayflower Experience” but want to provide all their own materials, we automatically decline these jobs.  We are not able to do this business model anymore as our overhead makes us unable to compete against independent contractors.  Basically, you’d probably end up spending more buying a friend’s materials and using a company like us for labor only than you would just using us for the whole thing.  People who are looking to save money don’t like our labor only prices as our labor price still factors in our overhead.  We are best suited for clients who want a one-stop-shop, customer service-oriented company who will give them an efficient, good quality renovation. 

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It ultimately comes down to whether you want a good experience or the cheapest price.  If price ends up being the biggest factor, you can absolutely save money if you know people in the industry, have some construction knowledge, and are committed to being your own project manager.  You’ll just need to know exactly what you’re doing, especially on the construction end, so you can catch mistakes and avoid those never-ending renovation horror stories you hear about.  See out blog series on “Is a DIY Renovation for Me?”

If the experience is more important and you view your time and stress as having a price tag; you spend a little more and use a company like us or other design-build firms as we have an experienced staff in house that specifically deals with project management, ordering, and designing. 

In our early years before we opened our showroom, we did a lot of labor only jobs.  We also did not give even 20% of the design consulting and customer service we are now able to offer as we did not have the staff to support it.  We’ve grown to a point where our overhead no longer allows us to be competitive against independent contractors working out of their trucks.  Also, labor only jobs always end up having hiccups as we’re not in control of the order and therefore have no control over quality, delivery, or replacements as something inevitably ends up back ordered or damaged during the shipping process.  Basically, the less control we have, the less we’re able to guarantee the finished renovation matches our standards.


The heart of the reason we don’t offer labor only is not because we think we’re “too good” for those jobs, but because the mentality of the client who is providing their own materials is to expect cheaper labor in return.  Therefore, they decline us as we’re too expensive for what they are expecting.  However, cheap labor comes with the price of giving up customer service.  You can’t have a quality, fast and cheap renovation simultaneously.  To get a cheap renovation quickly, you’ll sacrifice quality as cheap fast companies cut corners to achieve maximum profit. Likewise, to get a cheap, quality renovation, you’ll sacrifice speed as a talented 1-2 man operation will do a great job but work slowly.

We focus our business model on delivering fast, quality renovations and our ideal client base understands this and is willing to invest into having the best experience during their renovation. If you’d like to learn more about our business model and what we offer, give us a call or schedule an appointment!    


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